Friday, July 31, 2015
Autism, Neurodiversity, and Autistic Self-Advocates
This is an interview by Shannon Penrod of Autism Live, an interactive Web show, with Jonathan Mitchell, a blogger at Autism's Gadfly. Mitchell, who is himself autistic, does not share the popular belief among many autistic self-advocates in the neurodiversity movement. Neurodiversity is the belief that autism is a normal variation of human behavior and should be accepted as a social category on a par with gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability status.
As Mitchell explains in this interview, he believes that his autism is a real disability and has greatly affected his ability to work and maintain social relationships. He has been attacked, at times, by other self-advocates who accuse him of being motivated by self-hatred and in betraying the cause of the self-advocacy movement.